height of ambition for women, but why? They may see tallness as indicator of healthy
humans appear to be no different from any other species of animal when it comes
to mate selection. Size -- in this case height --counts.
women prefer taller men is nothing new. Short guys, unless they're rich, powerful
or famous, have come by this knowledge the hard way. And
women all over the
world openly profess desires for height in personal ads.
question is, why? Is it the actual inches that get the female flushing, or does
height represent something else, such as wealth or education?
in today's Nature by scientists in Poland and England suggests height itself plays
a key role in turning a female's head. (If you are a fish, depending on your species,
a particularly tall dorsal fin or a
long tail might do the trick.)
experts, including James Gould of Princeton University, say there's good evidence
that the preference for height by female humans, and long dorsal fins or tails
by fish, is hard-wired in the brain and translates to good health.
height is an indicator of health, this is not surprising, and if females are programmed
to look for health, they would end up with taller males,'' Gould says. ''It's
entirely plausible this is true.''
study's cold statistics show that taller men are more likely to have children
than shorter men and are more likely to be married. Conversely, childless bachelors
are significantly shorter than married
men, says Robin I. M. Dunbar of the
University of Liverpool.
more successful breeders were 1.2 inches taller on average than childless men,
and those who were married were an inch taller on average than bachelors.
and colleagues from the University of Wroclaw in Poland studied 3,200 men, ranging
in age from their 20s to 50s, whose average height was 5 feet 6 inches. Because
other studies suggest tall men have better
education and are more likely to
have family wealth (the silver-spoon variety, not earned by themselves), the team
controlled for education and still found that height races the pulse.
selection, which is controlled by females in most species, has never been a kind
process. The female, no matter what species, is basically interested in good genes
and a well-provisioned nest. But within this female drive there is room for exceptions
or true trade-
offs. Money and power can usually supplant height in female
preferences the way rock beats scissors. After all, Al Pacino is only 5-foot-7,
and Henry Kissinger is 5-foot-9.
isn't always better,'' says Bobbi Low of the University of Michigan and author
of Why Sex Matters. ''The bottom line is, men want healthy young women and women
want healthy men with great resource
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